There are no universal defaults. There are only decisions that other people made, and which you accept blindly without consideration.
Each time you do this, you yield power over your life to someone who didn’t earn it, doesn’t deserve it, and probably is using it poorly.
“Oh, this task showed up in my inbox, so I guess I have to do it.” No, not necessarily! You might choose to do it because it’s the best option. But you also might delegate it. You might email your boss and have a discussion about priorities and responsibilities. You might flip your desk and jump out the window. But all of those decisions are yours.
In the above example, just doing the thing in your inbox might actually be the best call. But there are great and mighty swaths of defaults that totally aren’t. You don’t have to accept them.
Develop a little healthy belligerence. A little resistance to the natural flow. Remember that “natural flow” leads to the lowest point, always. Sometimes that’s where you want to be; often it isn’t.
This is a true story: I once watched a man approach a city intersection and press the little button that (in theory) summons the “safe to walk” sign. Perhaps the button was broken, or perhaps the button doesn’t do anything anyway. But this man stood at that intersection, staring at the red glowing hand telling him not to walk, for three full traffic cycles. During this entire time, not a single car drove by. This was at a time that was far from peak traffic at an intersection that wasn’t that busy to begin with. Three full traffic cycles of… nothing. And then, then, the little glowing “safe to walk” man showed up. And only then did the man cross the street.
He didn’t even look both ways.
(I don’t wish anyone ill, so I’m glad he was okay, but wouldn’t it have been perfect if he’d gotten clipped anyway?)
Anyway, that guy had totally yielded his power. He’d given over the decision of when to cross the road to poorly-maintained and foolishly-deployed equipment instead of recognizing that his own eyes and brain had the power to make his life better. You have a voice, and it can make your life better.
Don’t be herded. Be heard.